Who better to take inspiration from than Pasta Grannies who have spent their lifetimes plating up comfort and connection. Vicky Bennison, the author of the bestselling Pasta Grannies cookbook and creator of the hugely popular YouTube channel of the same name, is back to bring you more recipes and stories from the much-loved Italian grandmothers that shows you how to make authentic Italian food that everyone will enjoy.
3 large organic lemons
50 ml lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
10 g flat-leaf parsley (or basil)
5 g mint
1 garlic clove
pinch of salt
pinch of dried chilli flakes
50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
50 g Italian pine nuts (or walnuts)
100 g Parmigiano Reggiano (or pecorino), grated
Start by peeling the lemons; you only want the skin. A great way to remove the pith from the peel is to use a filleting knife, which has flexible blade. Anchor the peel pith side up with a finger, then with the other hand press and slither the knife horizontally under the pith (away from your fingers, please), leaving the zesty skin.
Chop the rinds finely. Strain the lemon juice to remove pips.
Rough chop the parsley, mint and garlic and blitz all these together in a food processor with a pinch of salt, the chilli flakes and the oil until smooth.
Roughly chop the nuts, add them to the mix and blitz again until you have a rough paste. Add half the cheese and give it a quick zhuzh. Taste for acidity and, if needed, add tablespoons of water to adjust.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti for the time indicated on the packet.
In the meantime take a large salad bowl and dollop in the pesto. Dilute with a ladle of hot pasta water to make it more of a sauce.
Drain your pasta, keeping some of the pasta water. Toss the pasta with the pesto, adding in the rest of the cheese and adding more hot pasta water if necessary so the sauce coats the spaghetti.
Serve immediately. This should be on your regular recipe roster!
Recipe from the Pasta Grannies Cook book